Writing a Different Future #6 – Dealing with Our Past
When we confess our sins to God and ask him to forgive us, two wonderful things happen. First, “He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins” (1 John 1:9). Second, God remembers our sins “no more”! (Hebrews 8:12).
However, it’s hard to be clear about who we are in Christ when we’re carrying around our baggage from the past – things that we have done that still have a hold on us. This may mean a broken relationship, an unpaid debt, or areas of our lives that cause us to feel shame and guilt.
A genuine letting go of the past brings freedom and the process of letting go of the hold these things have on us releases us to experience a transformed life.
Restoring relationships ~ Ask for forgiveness. Make good on broken promises. Jesus said, “Go and be reconciled” (Matthew 5:24). We take responsibility for an offense or a broken promise without defending ourselves or blaming the other person. Then as much as possible, we “live at peace” with them (Romans 12:18).
Joshua stated about God: “Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed” (Joshua 23:14). The psalmist resolved: “I will not violate my covenant or alter what my lips have uttered” (Psalm 89:34).
Making restitution ~ Pay an unpaid debt. Paul wrote, “Give to everyone what you owe them” (Romans 13:7). If we stole something or borrowed something but never returned it, we fully reimburse the person or company or return the item.
We “make restitution” (Exodus 22:14). Zacchaeus declared, “If I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount” (Luke 19:8).
Cleansing our home ~ Ask God if anything we own has an evil attachment. We obey God when he says to destroy it or get rid of it. In Ephesus, when many believed in Jesus, “A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly” (Acts 19:19).
If we are to write a different future, we have to deal fully with baggage from our past. Confession brings us cleansing. Clearing out our past brings us freedom.
Ask God to bring to your mind what you need to take care from the past. Write it down. And draw a line through each one off as you begin to work your way through your list.
~ Pastor Dave